“Kill me and be cursed. You are no king of mine.” ~ Rickard Karstark
Last time on Game of Thrones, Jaime began dealing with the loss of his hand while Locke’s men continued tormenting him on their way to deliver him to Lord Bolton. Thoros delivered Clegane to the Brotherhood Without Banners to stand trial for his crimes. Theon escaped from imprisonment only to be betrayed by his savior who led him back to the dungeon and his impending torture while back in King’s Landing, Lady Margaery gets into Joffrey’s head a bit more as the Tyrell’s plot a wedding between Loras and Sansa. Meanwhile in Slaver’s Bay, Daenerys acquires her army and as her first act as queen, kills the masters of Slaver’s Bay and frees the slaves, leaving Slaver’s Bay in ashes.
In “Kissed by Fire,” Clegane faces his judgment by the God of Light through a trial by battle with Beric Dondarrian As the two prepare to battle, Beric, in a brilliant show of strength, sets fire to his blade. The two begin their fight with each taking the upperhand at different points. Finally, as Clegane takes the upperhand once more Beric drops to his knees and Clegane swings his sword, bearing down on Beric’s flaming blade, slicing through it and into Beric, killing him. Arya, in her anger, attempts to attack Clegane, but is held back as the God of Light has judged Clegane and found him innocent so he must be set free per the rules of the trial. Beric is quite the showman here. And much to Arya’s surprise, Beric rises to tell her Clegane will be set free. It’s unfortunate he didn’t get in a few more blows on Clegane before losing the battle. Hell, it’s unfortunate he didn’t win it all together! I don’t care much for Clegane. Who does?
As the men prepare to take Clegane from their secret location and free him, as he should be since he won the battle, Arya is upset that Clegane gets off free for his crimes, but can do nothing about it. She finds Gendry mending Beric’s armor and he tells her that he intends to stay with the Brotherhood Without Banners. He tells her he has always served and simply doesn’t want to serve anyone anymore and as Beric was elected their leader, he wouldn’t really be serving him. He tells her that the Brotherhood could be his family. When Arya says she could be his family, Gendry smiles and tells her, “You wouldn’t be my family. You’d be ‘my lady.’” The two sharing another sweet moment, before she stalks off. So Arya loses another companion on her way home. That’s too bad. I wonder if they will ever learn more about Gendry. That would be an interesting development. I’m thinking I should probably get around to reading the books sometime…even if Gendry isn’t mentioned, I’d at least know more about what’s going on!
Later, Arya stares into the fire as she repeats her list: Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, Ser Meryn, The Hound. Thoros lies across from her and she asks what he intends to do with her. He tells her he intends to use her as a hostage for ransom from her brother. Even though Beric respected her father, they need the money. At this point Beric comes over and they tell Arya how it was that Thoros brought him back to life, something that has happened six times now. Arya inquires about bringing a man without a head back, but they tell her it’s not possible. From what I’ve seen, Ned Stark was the most honorable and respected of them all. For him to have died so early on is terrible. It would be great to see him back, but barring that I hope Arya is able to remove some of those names from her list.
Also being judged for his crimes, Jaime Lannister is brought before Lord Bolton with Brienne at his side. Lord Bolton immediately shows some honor and decency toward the two and has Brienne untied while sending Jaime off to have his injuries treated by Qyburn. Qyburn decides it’s necessary to remove the rotting flesh from Jaime’s arm, which will be painful, but Jaime insists he does so without painkillers. Later, Jaime joins Brienne in the bath and shares her tub despite her protests. After taunting her a bit, she jumps up ready to defend her honor and Jaime apologizes for it, offering a truce to which Brienne tells him, “You need trust to have a truce.” He tells her he trusts her, but she says nothing and he notices the look on her face that shows she despises him. At this point he tells her how he came to be the Kingslayer. He tells her that when the Mad King had decided he would burn everyone Jaime decided to break his oath and kill the Mad King, “Tell me if your own precious Renly commanded you to kill your own father and stand by while thousands of men, women and children burned alive, would you have done it?” She asks why he didn’t tell anyone, why he didn’t tell Ned Stark and he points out that the honorable Ned Stark caught him killing a King and wouldn’t hear his side of it. At this point, he begins to pass out in the water and she catches him before his head goes under yelling for help for the Kingslayer to which Jaime weakly says, “My name is Jaime.” I have to say this season has really been awful for Jaime, while at the same time showing a different side to him that makes you actually feel sorry for the guy and even like him a bit. I love the dynamic between Brienne and Jaime and the respect he seems to have for her at times, you know, in between the teases and jibes he throws at her.
Back in King’s Landing, Cersei enlists Littlefinger’s help in finding out the Tyrell’s plans since they clearly don’t have the crown’s best interest at heart. Littlefinger agrees to this and sends one of his male whore to seduce Loras. Loras and the hewhore have sex and Loras spills the Tyrell’s plans and the hewhore relays this information to Littlefinger who in turn tells Cersei. After Tyrion successfully negotiates with Olenna Tyrell to pay for half of the extravagant wedding, he is summoned by his father who informs him that due to the Tyrell’s plans to use Sansa to gain the North, Tyrion will be her new husband despite Tyrion’s protests for the girl. And Cersei’s smirk is wiped off her face once more as Tywin informs her that she will be wed to Loras so they can gain Highgarden and put an end to the rumors of her affections for her brother. Lord Baelish visits with Sansa offering her an escape, but believing she will be wed to Loras, she tells Littlefinger that she intends to stay in King’s Landing for a little while longer. Is Lord Baelish still intending to steal away the “Key to the North” and how will Sansa react to her impending betrothal? I feel sorry for the poor naïve little thing. Though I don’t like Tywin and his plans for her and the others, I do love his ability to wipe the smirk from Cersei’s place and put her in her place. It amuses me.
In Riverrun, Robb finds some trouble of his own when Rickard Karstark betrays him and kills the Lannister boys, Tywin Lannister’s nephews, in a show of vengeance. Robb, against his mother’s and his wife’s protests, decides that the men and Lord Karstark who killed the boys must be punished by death for their crimes. He takes Lord Karstark out and beheads him in front of all as a murderer. While honorable to punish the man for his crimes, it also proves to be a foolish thing as Karstark’s men, half of Robb’s army, return home, no longer loyal to Robb as their King. It’s unfortunate to see an intelligent man with some savvy act so foolish. I even liked his wife a bit better for this part and we all know how I feel about Talisa…. he should have listened to her this time. Later, Robb studies the maps after the Karstarks return home attempting to determine the next strategy and he realizes that his best plan of attack is to appeal to Walter Frey, the man whose daughter he was supposed to marry. He realizes that if he can get those men, he can attack the Lannister’s home at Casterly Rock and still have a chance to win the war. The only problem being that small little fact that he technically betrayed Walter Frey so he could marry Talisa. This should be interesting to see… will Rickard’s words ring true? “Kill me and be cursed. You are no king of mine.” So far that curse has at least lost him the men he needed, will it lose him the war? Worse yet, will it lose him his life?
Meanwhile in the North, Jon tells the wildlings how many Crows would be patrolling the wall and some other details about the Night’s Watch. Tormund and the others don’t really trust him, even though Ygritte stands up for him, but he holds his ground and insists that his information is correct. After Tormund warns Jon about what will happen if he has lied, Jon and Ygritte run off to a cave where Ygritte easily seduces him with her boobies.
Back in Dragonstone, Stannis visits his wife who tells him that she is glad for his affair with the Lady Melisandre as she has given him a son where his wife had only given him a daughter. She consoles him a bit before he goes off to see his daughter. Shireen is happy to see him and asks about the Onion Knight. Unfortunately, Stannis tells her that he had locked Davos up as a traitor for betraying him and she must forget him. Later, she goes and finds Davos in his cell and offers him a book. He keeps telling her she must go away, but she insists on staying. He admits to her that he can’t read and she happily offers to teach him beginning with the book she’d just brought that tells about the fascinating history of the Targaryns. At least someone treats the girl a bit like a father. Was it just me, or was that a cell she was in? It seemed awfully cell-like. I am curious about the scars on her face, too. I wonder how they came to be.
Speaking of Targaryns, we get another glimpse at Daenerys’ leadership as she meets with the man the slaves have elected as the leader of the officers. He tells her his name and Missandei explains that they are given new slave names after they are cut, names of vermin to remind them of their place. At this Daenerys tells them they are free to choose new names, names that will make them proud. Grey Worm, the newly elected leader, tells her his name, “Grey Worm” makes him proud as his given name was cursed. It was the name he had when he was taken as a slave, but Grey Worm is lucky because it is the name he had “the day Daenerys Stormborn set him free.” This was definitely a moment that made me smile. Though for a minute I thought they’d all decide that Daenerys set them free and that’s a name they’d be proud of so you’d have a bunch of Daeeneryses and Stormborns running around. That would be interesting. Oh yeah, and apparently Jorah’s reputation has suffered so Barristan is kind of trying to oust him as Daenerys’ trusted advisor, which begs the question: Does Barristan have some kind of plan up his sleeve that is truly not in favor of our beloved Daenerys? Either way, the story has developed in “Kissed by Fire” in ways I wasn’t expecting (and ways I was). I can’t wait to see what happens with all my favorite and not-so-favorite characters next time in “The Climb.”